Increased employee fatigue due to remote working is an issue that BC managers need to be aware of

Published: Friday, 20 November 2020 09:21

Remote working has been one of the main business continuity strategies employed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but researchers have shown that remote working results in increased fatigue for employees, something which needs to be taken into account and managed. This is according to research led by London South Bank University (LSBU) and published in the paper ‘Self-Control and Self-Regulation as Mechanisms Linking Remote Communication to Employee Well-Being during the Covid-19 Pandemic.’, by Rivkin, Moser, Diestel & Alshaik (2020).

The study looked at the levels of energy depletion experienced by employees engaged in remote working and their increased need for daily recovery time, taking into account various digital media applications used to complete a range of work tasks.

The research shows how remote communications can harm employee wellbeing at work, if left unmanaged.

The researchers conducted a daily diary study surveying a cohort of 102 UK employees working remotely across a ten day period during full national lockdown.  The survey results report an 80 percent (80 out of 102) employee response rate with a 67 percent daily response rate. Levels of exposure to remote communication were assessed by asking participants how many minutes they had spent each day using: text-based media (texting, emails), video conferences (Slack, Skype, Zoom, MSTeams), voice-based media (phone calls), social media (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat), collaborative platforms (Slack, Workzone, Blackboard, Glip).

The research shows:

Based on these findings, the study recommends that employers should:

Read the paper (PDF).